DEH Public Talk: Dr. Subhoranjan Dasgupta on Khowabnama
The Department of English and Humanities at the University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB) organized a public talk on “History’s Creative Counterpart: Partition in Akhtaruzzaman Elias’s Khowabnama” conducted by Dr. Subhoranjan Dasgupta, former professor of Human Science at the Institute of Development Studies Kolkata (IDSK). The talk was held at the Permanent Campus of ULAB on December 13, 2022.
Dr Subhoranjan Dasgupta started his talk by introducing Akhtaruzzaman Elias and his stance on the Partition of 1947 by quoting one of his recurring sayings. He mentioned three other notable figures: Ritwik Ghatak, Kayes Ahmed, and Taslima Nasrin, who have shown their condemnation and disdain towards the Partition in their own literary works. But their point of view is totally different compared to Elias’s.
The novel Khowabnama, if deconstructed, would show the Marxist views of Elias regarding the Partition. Dr. Dasgupta stated that it is because of Elias pointing out the class division agenda of the Partition from a Marxist point of view that made his work so appealing to the masses. He also talked about the Tebhaga Movement, quoting Elias’s view on the matter from the novel several times. He also talked about the deception and hypocrisy of the Muslim League, who lied and deceived the people, compelling them to accept the partition. He ended his lecture by praising Elias’s work as unlike no other, his emotions and lamentations are almost tangible.
The question and answer session was very engaging with several intriguing questions being asked by the audience. The event successfully came to an end with Professor Shamsad Mortuza, Special Advisor to the Board of Trustees, giving the concluding remarks and Arifa Ghani Rahman, Head of the department, handing over a token of appreciation.
Reported by Abu Shahed (222013028)